Fibroid Factors That Affect Your Treatment Options
There are many women in the world that are affected by fibroids, which naturally means that there are many women looking for effective solutions to this condition. The tricky part is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to treating uterine fibroids.
Treatment for Fibroid Symptoms
Not every woman who has fibroids will experience significant symptoms. For this reason, many women living with uterine fibroids are completely unaware that they have them, and there is really no reason to explore procedures or surgeries to remove the fibroid(s).
There are also a number of individuals who will encounter problems stemming from the symptoms of their fibroids, such as heavy menstrual bleeding. Rather than addressing the fibroids themselves, it can be beneficial to simply look into ways that the patient can alleviate her symptoms alone. Common methods for treating the symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Taking hormonal birth control: Hormonal birth controls have shown to thin the endometrium, which is the inner lining of the uterus. By decreasing the thickness of the endometrium, there is less tissue to be shed during a woman’s regular menstrual cycle, leading to lighter, shorter periods.
- Endometrial ablation: Another way to reduce the amount of endometrium within the uterus is to remove the tissue using a procedure called endometrial ablation. This is also commonly used to treat other disorders of the reproductive system, like endometriosis.
- Other medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help to provide a small amount of relief from heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle. In recent years, there have also been a number of different prescribed medications developed to reduce the size of a patient’s fibroids. Such medications belong to a unique class of pharmaceuticals known as GnRH.
Questions to Ask Prior to Treatment
The best way to figure out which option is best for you and your case of uterine fibroids is to spend time speaking with Spartanburg & Pelham ObGyn about your expectations. This brings many crucial questions in to play, though if you are still a bit overwhelmed and unsure of what to ask, try starting with this list:
- Will I be able to become pregnant after treatment?
- What are the risks associated with each type of treatment?
- How long will I need to recover from my treatment?
- What are the benefits of the different types of procedures offered by Spartanburg & Pelham ObGyn?
- Will my treatment be covered by insurance?
- Are my fibroids likely to return after being treated?
Common Procedures Used to Treat Fibroids
The specialists at Spartanburg & Pelham ObGyn are highly experienced in handling cases of uterine fibroids. These non-cancerous tumors are most often treated using one of the following 3 methods:
- Hysterectomy: The surgical removal of the entire uterus is the only procedure that can guarantee a woman’s life-long relief from fibroids. However, many women wish to avoid this procedure since it is a serious surgery that will prevent the patient from ever bearing children in the future.
- Myomectomy: This surgical procedure is quite effective in excising fibroids that hang down from a stalk attached to the uterus, which are known as pedunculated fibroids. Patients may also choose to have varying types of fibroids removed using this surgery, though it typically leads to significant damage and scarring of the uterus.
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization: UFE requires no surgery at all, but rather, is a procedure used to stop the blood supply to one or more fibroids. Once the fibroid’s source of nutrients has been cut off, the tumor will gradually become smaller over time. As the fibroid shrinks in size its symptoms usually dissipate or disappear entirely.
Why Fibroid Size and Location Matter
There are also certain situations in which your desired treatment for fibroids will not be advisable due to their size or location. For example, a fibroid located within the tissue of the uterus can be very difficult and dangerous to surgically remove, since cutting the uterine wall can lead to a large number of future complications, or even the need for an emergency hysterectomy. While the choice is ultimately your own, please carefully consider what Spartanburg & Pelham ObGyn recommends based on your likelihood of a positive outcome from treatment.
To learn more about uterine fibroids and your candidacy for their various treatment methods, please call (864) 208-2345 today to set up an appointment with one of our providers.